Neptune Mountaineering Sold


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Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 7, 2013 - 03:44pm PT
I always thought the name "Neptune" Mountaineering a bit ironic. Neptune Kayaks & Canoes seems more apropos.

(Yes, I know the former owner is named Neptune.)

Sort of on topic, a friend from Boulder once referred to those who work there as the Loony Neptoonies.

Boulder climber
Somewhere on 395
Jan 7, 2013 - 03:51pm PT
what's next, Bass Pro Shops buys Black Diamond?
goatboy smellz

Jan 7, 2013 - 03:53pm PT

Ah well, a more generic experience, JLP will be happy.


Ice climber
Jan 7, 2013 - 05:22pm PT
Pam here. Well, I always hate reading such negative comments about Neptune's, but I know there have always been people who have received less than great help, even me. Nevertheless, I worked there off and on for a total of about 9 years, starting in 1983 or so, and finishing my last stint in 1999, I think. Some of those employees AND customers became my dearest friends, especially our gang from the late '90's. I will always proudly consider myself a "Neptunian", and I tried REALLY hard to provide really positive service, even with difficult customers. Hard to be perfect, that's for sure, but I for one will put in a good word for Gary and the gang. I wish him the very best, and the store as well. It occupied an important part of Boulder climbing history, along with the BoMo and to a certain extent Mountain Sports, and will be missed. It sounds as though we won't notice HUGE physical changes, at least not for a while As Crimper said, hopefully the problem areas will be addressed, and the new changes will be positive.

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Jan 7, 2013 - 05:32pm PT
Well stated Pam. And I hope Gary got a pile of money (and time) from the deal so he can play to his heart's content!!

Trad climber
Jan 7, 2013 - 06:05pm PT
I think I worked exclusively to spend my $$$ at Neptune back in the late 80's/early 90's. Used to love the slideshows as well as checking out the museum pieces. Thought they had a great climbing library that was especially helpful before the internet was a real option. Moved away and then back about 6 years ago. Was a bit disappointed to see a weaker store. Hopefully, the owners did well in the sale. Sad to see it go but probably was the time to move on.

Ice climber
Jan 7, 2013 - 06:14pm PT
Again, just to play devil's advocate,for as many disgruntled customers that there were (and in most cases probably for legitimite reasons), there were legions of dedicated customers that came to Neptune's from all over the world, specifically BECAUSE of the outstanding service they received, and they trusted the knowledge of the employees. I can cite plenty of times employees worked after hours mounting skis, or driving stuff over to customers' houses, and so on. During the "bolting wars" of the 1980's, it seemed each climber had their favorite store, and shredded the other store roundly for frequently the same reasons:attitude, poor customer service, etc. Just sayin'............:-)

Social climber
The internet
Jan 7, 2013 - 07:10pm PT
Their biggest flaw at the moment is not competing. If they had a better return policy, and matched Moosejaw's 15% for rock gym members - for example - I think that would go a LONG way. The vast majority in this modern day aren't going to make a major purchase without a guarantee and at least a token ~10% discount.

Neptune is the stingiest store you'll find anywhere when it comes to returns, too. Meanwhile, over at REI...just losing money like crazy with their return policies...

It also has to be in stock. I can order it myself, too, and save a trip after trying on something similar, thank you. Bent Gate just kicks their ass in this regard - the right brand, size and color - in the store.

The thing that gets me most about Neptune is they step back and say - hey, we can't afford a return policy and sales like our competition because we have to pay for all this expert service we're giving you - except the store is filled with people who don't serve you. I feel like a total chump to walk in there and pay full retail for that, especially given the other options.

They need to get over to the 29th Street area, as well.

Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jan 7, 2013 - 07:17pm PT
I first went to Boulder in 1970 when "the Hill" was still happening, and moved there in 1973 when as a student I got a coupon for $1 Eiger ovals at Neptune's (I think it was on 30th street).

When I did my first wall the following year I had bought a lot of hardware from Gary, who always gave great deals.

A nice guy, don't rag on him. Sad to hear that some of the employees had 'tude.

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Jan 7, 2013 - 07:18pm PT
Oh well. Spend money there in the future and you'll be supporting business in what may well be the most bigoted, mysogynistic, gun-happy, flat-out deplorable states in the union

I'm a wild-eyed supporter of the Texas Succession Movement. Or Mexico can have it back. Whatevz.

Social climber
The internet
Jan 7, 2013 - 07:23pm PT
REI is profitable.
You totally missed the sarcasm. Good return policy = comfort and satisfaction = return business = profit. Yes, that's pretty clear to just about everyone who shops.

Social climber
Jan 7, 2013 - 08:21pm PT
I heard a few months ago that Gary was trying to sell his store. Sad to hear it's a done deal.

One of the last of the independent climbing stores. A big part of the Boulder community, with all the shows and events.

Shows? I've seen Layton Kor speak, Warren Harding, Joe Simpson, Pat Ament, Royal Robbins, Jim venue, by far.

I really like that the place is not some ultra-clean Foot-Locker or Nordstrom Rack clone, infested with over-attentive penguins with Mitt Romney smiles.

The staff are real people, real climbers, warts and all. Quite the line-up, too, over the years. Pamela, Jack Roberts, Dan Hare, Fred Knapp, Boulos Ayad, Ray Olson, Gary Ryan, David Light, Pete Steers, on and on....

Gary can be really generous, helping people out when he feels it's deserved. But he does this quietly, with no hype.

One criticism would be that for some time now they've been trying to not keep much in stock, especially the popular sizes of climbing shoes--they just order one or two pairs at a time. These may go straight out the door, then they don't have them in stock again for a week or more. The convenience of being able to try on different sizes of the same shoe is one feature of a bricks and mortar store that keeps people coming in. A minor quibble.

Neptunes roolz!

Trad climber
Where the Hoback and the mighty Snake River meet
Jan 7, 2013 - 08:25pm PT
Got to know Gary through Paul Ramer, plus I did a bunch of work on their rental fleet. Snowbird 2 years in a row as a guest, no way would I rag on Neptune's! Had a lot of fun with gear from there and going to slide shows.
Sure do miss that part of those days.

Not too surprised, I hope he got a bundle for it and gets to vacation for the duration.

Hobart, Australia
Jan 7, 2013 - 09:24pm PT
I hope Gary's museum will survive any makeovers intact--perhaps it could be moved to Golden AAC?

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jan 7, 2013 - 09:25pm PT
I'm sure Gary got enough to keep himself in Lederhosen and Norwegian Sweaters for life. End of an era...there goes my discount and Malcolm's toe. Thursday night shows were a good place to catch up with people. Backwoods is a good outfit, possibly a little too conservative.....been around long enough to understand culture, altihough Neptune's defies definition.

edit: Came very, very close to dying today on a rap off of a nondescript route in Sedona.
Full TR to follow when I get back to Ouray.

Mountain climber
Jan 7, 2013 - 09:52pm PT
Whoa Donini!

Another historically great brick and mortar gear shop that failed to make the transition to the web folds. Not much surprise there. Gary and the shop had a good run.

I'm also concerned about the museum pieces in the store and hope they find a good home.

edited to add: except for the toe

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Jan 7, 2013 - 10:01pm PT
Donini! Re your comment;

edit: Came very, very close to dying today on a rap off of a nondescript route in Sedona.
Full TR to follow when I get back to Ouray.

A lot of us know how close that must have been.

Sluuup! Here's to you cheating death a great-while longer!
little Z

Trad climber
un cafetal en Naranjo
Jan 7, 2013 - 10:02pm PT
...Malcolm's Toe? what is that all about?

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jan 7, 2013 - 10:30pm PT
Malcolm and I had a bit of an epic on Thunder Mountain in Alaska in 1999. The toe, nicely preserved in formaldehyde, was Malcolm's gift to the Neptune Museum to commemorate the event.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jan 7, 2013 - 10:40pm PT
Well that is a pretty gross thing to display, but probably not as ugly as your underwear after that sling failed today.


I contributed a very strange thick spined euro D biner with a non-latching gate to that collection.
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